Were you ready for the Avengers!? Was your local theater ready for the Avengers!? We were, and we got news, and reviews, and so much more!
We've tackled each movie leading up to the Avengers, and while we've already tackled The Incredible Hulk,The Invincible Iron Man, The Mighty Thor, Captain America, and a 4-issue comic series, we feel you're still not prepared for your second or even third sitting! Or maybe your first sitting, if you're extremely unlucky or something. Anyway, that's where we come in. We're here to fill that void in your life. We're here to right the wrongs. We're here to avenge the ill-knowledged. We're here to type more words because you haven't read enough.
First let's start off by saying there will be Spoilers. Sorry. It happens. But lets be perfectly clear here, you're not going to be spoiled or even remotely upset. You're going to want to see this movie regardless, because there is so much action, comedy, sadness, and that "WOW WTF" factor to make your head spin and just gloat about the achievements this movie has made. We're going to look at each character individually, and then we're going to give you our honest opinion of the film, and then we're going to give you some constructive criticism. So keep reading true believer!
If you don't know by now, the Avengers are Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The Avengers are also, as of now, The Summer's mightiest movie. But don't take my word for it, just look at the sales (200 million opening weekend), the build-up (Come on, you've been reading our Primers, right?), and the opinions of others (Check out Eric's Avengers Review).
The original comics had a team consisting of Giant Man, Wasp, Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk. More recently, we've seen incarnations of the team drop Giant Man and Wasp (Like in the movie), add others such as Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Black Panther, and every version eventually adds Captain America, depending on which plot fits in his thawing out of the ice. In this movie, we're going to see Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk. They're all going to team up to take down Loki and the threats he brings with him.
The Incredible Hulk
Well, here we are again, talking about the heroes we know and love. I'm not going to re-evaluate the Hulk Movie, we did that already.
Let's start by saying the obvious- Edward Norton is a no show, now you can expect to see Marc Ruffalo play the part. He does a great job as the new Bruce Banner, and Lou Ferrigno makes a returning role in voicing the Hulk. The animation quality is excellent as always, and the Hulk character itself plays a major role in the plot, not just as a member of the Avengers. The Hulk brings to the table the scientific mind of Bruce Banner, as well as the incredibly powerful and agile physical skill of the Hulk. Oh and anger, lots and lots of anger. And breaking things. The Hulk is being of chaos, and you will see him to bring on the smash!
What Hulk doesn't bring is consistency. We see a new kind of Hulk, one that in my mind ruins what they started in The Incredible Hulk. For starters, the teaser at the end of the Incredible Hulk was a fluke- General Ross does not appear in the Avengers, and neither does the Abomination, which we could have deduced already. That being said, Dr Banner is also found in the slums of India, treating the sick. The last time we saw Bruce he was controlling his anger in solitude, and there's nothing to tie the two together. Lastly, there is a lack of development, I feel, between being a giant green rage monster into a teammate. Go ahead, say I'm wrong, but the more I think about it I just get confused. And again, that's just me.
I'm sorry, Tony Stark was denied this. Iron Man was not. There's a good reason- SHIELD and more importantly Nick Fury just don't trust him. He's a genius, he's a scientist, but he's a damn good one. He built the Iron Man armor from scratch, and a man with that much power shouldn't be anywhere near the systems operating SHIELD.
The Iron Man, however, is a valuable asset and a powerful warrior, if you'd like to call it that. Expect more action than ever before, but more importantly, expect that sarcastic dry unexpected humor to leave Robert Downey Jr's mouth. It was unexpected to me, and to all of the other people in the theater, and I can guarantee you will laugh at least once, and I wouldn't be afraid to bet money you laugh more.
Iron Man makes this film, he brings a character development and variety of displays to really grab your attention. There is not a single part of the movie where I thought "Damn, he should not be there". In fact it was the opposite! If there isn't an Iron Man 3 in the works, I've given up on the film industry!
Considering that both enemies of Iron Man from the Iron Man films died at the end of each, we weren't really expecting much out of Whiplash or Iron Monger to begin with. War Machine is a no show either, which surprised me greatly.
Stark has built his own Stark tower, so no more beach home (But don't forget he probably owns both at this point) but add in a more lavish lifestyle and the inclusion Pepper Potts. She's in the movie, and she's fallen for Stark, just as we knew from the end of Iron Man 2. Oh, and before I forget, the trend continues- you'll see Stark update his Iron Man armor first hand, from new weapons, to rocket thrusters, to...well you'll see in a fight with Loki something else!
The Black Widow
There's not too much we know about the Black Widow, but that's what she' good at. We know her from Iron Man 2, with Scarlett Johansson returning for the role.The character Natasha Romanoff is a super spy, one of the best there is, and is a master at firearms, stealth, and martial arts combat.
That's really all we get to know or will know. In this movie it is revealed she has past history with Clint Barton/ Hawkeye, but beyond that there's nothing. You're going to get to see the sexy combat all over again. Acrobatics, punches, dodges, jumping, kicks- the works. You'll even get to see them used on The Hulk! But hey, I'm not complaining.
Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye, is another character that was a minor role previously. You could've found Hawkeye make a non-action cameo in Thor, while Thor is trying to retrieve Mjolnir. Hawkeye is an agent of SHIELD and has a history with the Black Widow.
Clint is a marksman. He can make any shot and hit the target almost every time. He does an excellent job of this, expending each arrow, which he can alter to be an explosive, a grappling hook, or a pointy thing. Jeremy Renner plays Clint in The Avengers, and the first thing we get to see is Hawkeye join the bad guy side, unwillingly of course, and he'll make a mess of things for the Avengers on several occasions. You'll see.
Thor is an Asgardian, a Norse warrior god. Brother to Loki, Thor is going to bring down the thunder and lightning as he finds out Loki is the cause of all the trouble on Earth. After what Loki did in the Thor film, Thor is not only looking to reunite with his brother but also to teach him a lesson.
Thor is a powerhouse. He should be, he is a god of course. He wields Mjolnir, and with it he can conjure up storms, bring down lightning, hit people with it, and fly. Chris Hemsworth resumes his role as the Norse god of thunder, with his accent and ye olde way of speaking too. Thor is almost as powerful as the Hulk, being able to go toe-to-toe with him in the movie. Did I mention there would be spoilers?
Unfortunately, we don't see any other Asgardians aside from Loki. The Frost Giants and the Asgardians such as Odin or the Warriors Three don't make an appearence in this film. There are direct references to the Destroyer armor though, and if you remember what happened to the Destroyer, you'll be impressed with the result. Jane Foster is also absent, although her presence is accounted for as being safe. Dr Selvig is in, and plays a major role in the film as Loki's right-hand man for much of the research necessary.
Loki is the Asgardian god of mischief and trickery. In the movie we see Tom Hiddleston step up once again and show off a few new moves we didn't see in Thor. We still do see his magic take effect in several places, so all is not lost. We now also get to see his fierce side, making a few kills onscreen and noticeable; that is to say you get to watch him stab a guy through the chest!
He also shows off more of his cruel dictatorship type of rule, and you get to see a minor form of mind control. And don't worry, the first time we saw Loki he brought an army of Frost Giants. This time, he brings a whole new army, equipped with hover cars, guns, and flying snake fortress thingies. You'll also get to see Loki get beaten, quite literally, and if you miss that you're going to have to go see The Avengers at least one more time. (We recommend two to three more times even if you didn't miss it!)
Captain America was the most recent installment of movies, so if you don't know what happened don't worry too much- it's all in the past. Literally! The Avengers takes off where Captain America left off, with him being just recently discovered and thawed out of the ice.
Captain America is a man out of time, a super-solider with a body at peak human performance, and then some. He doesn't have super powers, in a manner of speaking, but he's more of a man than you or I or your best guy friend will ever be. And he has a shield, nearly unbreakable at that, that he throws around like a frisbee crossed with a yo-yo. Seriously, the man is talented. With excellent skills in hand to hand combat, shield throwing, and the guts and glory to back it all up, Captain America is the natural born leader.
In The Avengers we lost a few things in the transition. Sadly the Red Skull will not make any appearences, as neither will Bucky (presumed dead from the accident in the prior movie) or Peggy Carter (Who aged 70 years while Cap was on ice). The Cosmic Cube, or the Tesseract as the characters call it, makes a huge impact to the storyline in this film, so it's good to see it's return. While all of those are fine and dandy, we do get one huge bonus- action. Lots and lots of action. Shield throwing, Ffghting, bashing- Cap does it all. If you felt a little deprived of Cap's abilities in his own movie, have no fear. Captain America is a force to be reckoned with, and brings his own force with him.
Nick Fury & Agent Phil Coulson
Nick Fury and Agent Coulson appeared in a number of the previous films. The only things we knew back then were their affiliations to the government agency, SHIELD, and that Nick Fury was their somewhat leader. Now it's confirmed the Nick Fury is the director, and Agent Coulson is his right-hand man. In The Avengers they play a central role, with Fury not only forming the team but also managing it, pushing them into the motivation they need to become a team, and running the entire SHIELD organization.
What Do We Think?
We think the Avengers is a summer blockbuster. It's the movie you will be talking about straight on through the DVD release, at which point you'll talk about it some more.
Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, FireFly, Serenity) is an amazing director. If you've seen his other work you've loved it. I've never heard a negative thing said about anything he's done, and this is no different. The movie had a steady flow, was jam-packed with action, and added a level of comedy nobody would expect. Each character had their own moments of glory, their own introduction into the film, their own level of action- everyone got their own fair share and no single character stood out. That's how it should be though, as this was a team.
There's always going to be gripes and those moments that really grind your gears. I can only think of three, the latter of the three coming after discussing the movie with a friend. First and foremost, I felt there needed to be Giant Man/Ant Man, and the Wasp. There wasn't even a cameo, and even a mention of them would have sufficed. The second was the lack of the phrase "Avengers Assemble!". Somewhere in the movie, Steve Rogers should have shouted it, if not at least saying it like when a sports team finishes their huddle. Lastly, the Hulk is the biggest gripe. How you go from a character that pretty much hates everyone to a character that takes orders to a character that ends up saving his teammates is beyond me when there is no reasoning for it other than to save the plot.
The Avengers Movie Ending
At the end of the movie, the team disperses into their own little groups, with our last scene being Tony Stark and Pepper Potts rebuilding Stark Tower. The iconic "A" from the middle of "STARK" is left, and we're lead into the next film with just that. Of course I skipped over the plot and the alien invaders, alls you really need to know was that Loki was the problem, Loki was defeated, and that we're more than likely getting an Avengers 2. Fill in the rest with your ticket sale, because you'll want to get your fill of Super Hero fighting in now. But wait, there's more! This is a Marvel movie after all, right?
Like any other Marvel film in the last bunch of years, there was an after the credits scene. This movie has TWO. Stay for both if you go to the movies, there's one after the first block of credits and one after all of the credits are over. The first one is the one to look out for, as it gives the hint towards the Avengers 2. I don't want to ruin it for anyone (if you're impatient just go to Wikipedia like a total tool), but I'll give you a hint. Here's an image I posted from my primer on Thor:
That's my TV (I have epic pausing skills), and in that image the Frost Giants are running from the Destroyer in Odin's vault. See that thing in the background? That's the Infinity Gauntlet, and given the reveal at the end of the Avengers in their post-credits scene, we'll be seeing that again VERY SOON...It's the kind of secret ending that anyone who's anyone that reads a comic book is probably getting that giddy feeling about it...